The Managing Director/CEO of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Ibrahim Adejuwon Odumboni has reiterated the significance of local content development to solving Nigeria’s multifarious problems. Drawing inspiration from the recent technological innovations in the waste management agency, he affirmed that Nigeria is able to solve her challenges internally and should not continue to look outwards. He stated this at the just-concluded National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) Conference and Awards 2021.
Affirming his belief in the Nigerian can-do spirit, Mr. Odumboni shared: ‘I am not a believer in getting everything outside Nigeria. Use Nigeria to solve Nigeria’s problems. The problem of Nigeria can only be solved in Nigeria. You can never solve your problem by using external companies. You cannot maintain what you have not created. The phone you have if it breaks down, there is no way you can fix it because we never assembled it.’
On the LAWMA success story, the trailblazer noted: ‘What we have done is to change a lot of how we do things. Recently, LAWMA was given 102 trucks designed and assembled with LAWMA’s contribution in Lagos. We changed the narrative by moving away from almost looking outwards to looking inwards. Everything we use in waste management in Lagos is now manufactured inside our yard including our trucks.’
‘It is over 3 months we got those trucks and I can stand to tell you that none of them have broken down because even the drivers that drive them know how to fix them. We have designed them such that they don’t look like any other in the world. They can look like compactor but they are not ordinary compactors, they solve all the problems. So the modern-day technology is to solve modern problem by local content so we need to continue to promote that’.
‘We fly drones in Lagos to know where wastes are and then we react to that. We are proactive. We decentralized ourselves and use the intelligence that we get around to manage what we do. We are ensuring sustainability in everything LAWMA is doing’, the LAWMA MD noted about the ongoing technological advancement in the agency.
Under the administration of the public administrator cum business consultant, LAWMA has been revived for sustainability and accountability with a technological twist and local support. ‘I have the privilege to manage this agency under the support of H. E. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. I have been saddled with the responsibility of managing the waste of over 25 million in Lagos – about 13,000 metric tons generated on a daily basis. I have over 41,000 formal and informal people helping in the waste sector and they have done a good job especially our policing team. We have our own policing team with over 450 that goes to ensure that when we clean up, by the time you come out, it can be sustained to some extent. Someone local can police – it is easy, cheaper, and easily verifiable as well. So it is very important that we do the right thing at the right time.’
Meanwhile, the man who has been at the helms of LAWMA since 2020 encouraged interagency collaboration among security agencies in Lagos. ‘We all need to work together. Working differently does not work. Working in silo can’t solve the problem. We can solve problem by engaging – it is cheaper, cost-effective, and sustainable. Security is everybody’s responsibility. You are responsible for the next person to you.’.
Earlier, during the presentation of NAOSNP Public Service Personality of the Year Award to Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, the Association’s National President, Oki Samson described the LAWMA Managing Director, “Mr. Odumboni is a silent achiever, innovative CEO, a man of action; his cleaner Lagos advocacy drives and collaboration is very commendable,” Oki noted.
The LAWMA Boss was acknowledged to a rapturous ovation as he bagged The Public Service Personality of the Year at the NAOSNP Conference and Awards 2021 which was held at NECA House, Alausa-Secretariat in Lagos. This award came in recognition of his towering efforts at ensuring a healthier and cleaner Lagos, as well as demonstration of excellence and innovation in waste management.
The prestigious national award was jointly presented to Mr Ibrahim Odumboni by the former Inspector General of Police, IGP Sir Mike Okiro, immediate past General Manager of LASTMA, Engr. Olajide Oduyoye; Corp Commander FRSC Lagos Command, Sector Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide and Director of Public Relations, NSCDC, DC Sola Odumosu.